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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lackadaisical Disorder

I was staring into the refrigerator when I noticed the same pot of pasta that has been in there for a week. Of course I had the thought, "I better get that out of there before something starts growing in it," which was followed by, "maybe there's already something growing in it," which was followed by, "oh...I'll take care of it later."

I then came in here to sit at the computer when I noticed the same pile of half folded laundry that has been sitting since Wednesday (somehow it's more convenient to frantically search for clothes in a pile of laundry than to find them neatly folded in a drawer). I looked at it for a moment (in fact, I keep looking at it right now... I can see it in my peripheral vision...ngh...) and told myself I'd deal with it later because I wanted to enjoy my coffee.

It was after that I started thinking about all of the OCD people I've met in my life and recalled how perfectly clean and tidy their homes were(I figure we all know that acronym by now, but just in case: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). For a moment I wished that I could borrow the disorder for a day, just one day, so I could feel a true sense of accomplishment and pleasure when I swiftly sweep through my home and exorcise the dusty demons of dull dirty duties -- my sacred sanctum called home would be cleansed. But alas... I'm not that way, nor would I really want to borrow the disorder fearing I couldn't give it back. I have successfully convinced myself that I am a more productive human being in the aspects of my life where it counts (say, the job that pays me to work hard Monday through Friday) if I treat the rest of my life in a sort of lackadaisical manner.

The problem with this is the minor amount of guilt that creeps in. You know, the guilt that says, "It would take less than five minutes to clean that pot in the fridge," or, "You know you could have that laundry folded and put away in thirty minutes," and then you remember that sloth is one of the seven deadly sins and your deeply rooted Baptist blood starts pulsing through your veins and suddenly you feel the need to act or cry out for help when... "Hey, I wonder if there's such a thing as Lackadaisical Disorder?" If I were suffering from something like OLD (Obsessive Lackadaisical Disorder) I wouldn't have to feel this guilt because I would be unable to control my behavior.

By definition, the lackadaisical human approaches things without interest, vigor, or determination. There's a reference in the dictionary calling the word an alteration of lack-a-day: a 1695 terminology. Just think of how many days of good clean use that pot in my fridge has lacked because of my disorder. And no wonder the laundry is still sitting there, it holds absolutely no interest to me...none. I would much rather sit here and write on a blog about, well, basically nothing at this point because I am determined to make some kind of ridiculous point. Even that, by definition, would fall under OLD: another dictionary reference to lackadaisical is to be idle or indolent especially in a dreamy way, followed up with this example, "she was annoyingly lackadaisical and impractical." How much more proof do I need to support my case?

Of course, there is a draw back. No matter how tempting it is to be relieved of responsibility for my lazy approach to household chores, successfully labeling myself with OLD might mean some psychological zealot would refer me to an institution for help. That institution would do their best to pick my brain and find just the right pill to prescribe in an attempt to help me take the laundry seriously. I would then struggle to defend myself against the label I so longed for ten minutes ago and I would point out my high grade point average I carried all the way through grad school. They would then label me with something like OAD (Over Achiever Disorder) and prescribe another pill. Again, I would come to my own defense and point to my imagination and creativity and my ability to write but to no avail: they would label me with HD (Histrionic Disorder) and prescribe yet another pill. They would also subject me to group therapy that would in turn create COD (Codependency Disorder) and well... I would become nothing but a system drone and somehow contribute to the betterment of society.

All that being considered, I take back everything I said above. As soon as I leave my computer I will go clean the pot in the fridge and fold my laundry. I will choose to change my patterns of procrastination and take responsibility for my actions. I prefer to stay "normal" than ever be given an "out" because I'm OLD.

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